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IBM and the Australian Open Mark 20 Years of Serving a Winning Advantage to Tennis Fans

New predictive cloud provisioning to power website and IBM Social Sentiment Index to reveal fans' social media champions

MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that new technologies will enhance the Australian Open experience for fans, players and coaches.  Marking 20 years of technology innovation at the Australian Open, predictive cloud provisioning technology will be used in production at the Australian Open 2013, the first Grand Slam to deploy the solution. IBM will also combine sophisticated analytics software and natural language processing to gauge positive, negative and neutral opinions shared across hundreds of thousands of social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, news sites, blogs and videos. The technology will help the tournament measure and understand fans' views on players throughout the event. 

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO )

IBM's real-time data analytics software will examine the tournament schedule of play, tennis player popularity, historical data logs and volume of social media conversations and predict the data demands from fans viewing the Australian Open website. Based on the demand forecast, IBM's predictive cloud provisioning technology will automatically assign the appropriate level of computing power required ahead of time from the IBM private cloud solution.

IBM's analysis of the Australian Open 2013 action will extend from the courts to the social media arena, looking at the topics that get fans talking online and which players become the social media champions. IBM will also provide the technology for the Social Leaderboard on the Australian Open website that will follow the most popular players and the percentage of positive and negative social sentiment from fans. With every fan's tweet about a player or 'like' of something written about a player on the site, fans will help their favorite players move up the Social Leaderboard ranks. 

"We are committed to giving all our tennis fans an incredibly connected experience to the Australian Open event," said Samir Mahir, CIO, Tennis Australia.  "With analytics we can help predict when demand is expected to spike, such as when a crowd favorite goes on court to compete. Predicting the australianopen.com demand from fans ahead of time and automatically provisioning capacity, means we have a highly efficient solution that ensures our interactive tournament website is available for all our fans even during the peaks of our busiest periods."

"The ultimate aim of our technology solutions for the Australian Open is to deepen our fans' engagement and enjoyment of the event. Analytics continues to change how Grand Slam tennis is viewed and played. Consistent with the worldwide trend, we are seeing a huge increase in the volume of fan conversation via social media. Social media insight has an increasingly important role in how Tennis Australia and other organizations make decisions and engage  consumers," said Samir Mahir.

As the official Technology Partner since 1993, IBM has worked with Tennis Australia to help deliver the most compelling Australian Open experience year-on-year. "During the last two decades, we have seen technology evolve from the launch of the tournament's first website in 1996 to innovative cloud computing and big data solutions that bring fans closer to the action and provide deep insight for players, coaches and organizers," said Elizabeth O'Brien, Sponsorship Strategy Lead, IBM. "Bringing business technology into the world of professional sport has helped shape Grand Slam tennis into an engaging spectator sport for millions of fans around the globe."

For more information about IBM visit www.ibm.com/australianopen

Chris Andrews
IBM External Relations

Katie Burford
IBM External Relations

Sandra McMullan
IBM External Relations


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